Crime watch


March 01, 2006

Md. man sentenced to death for murder

A federal judge sentenced a Hillcrest Heights man to death yesterday for kidnapping a teenager from a Washington street corner, shooting him and dumping his body on a street in Temple Hills in 2002.

The death sentence for Kenneth Lighty, 23, which was recommended by a jury in November, marks a rare use of capital punishment in the U.S. District Court for Maryland. The state has only one other inmate on federal death row.

Lighty was convicted of the 2002 kidnapping and murder of Eric L. Hayes II, the 19-year-old son of a Washington police officer. Prosecutors said Hayes had been pistol-whipped and shot several times in the head.

In a brief statement before he was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte, Lighty proclaimed his innocence and said he would continue to challenge his conviction.

"I just want to make it clear I am innocent of these charges," Lighty said.

But Messitte noted that the jury concluded that Lighty was principally responsible for Hayes' death. Two co-defendants also were convicted in the case.

"He is gone from this world because of some crazy, simple, angry act that involved you and your friends," Messitte said.

Lighty's attorney, Jeffrey O'Toole, said he planned to appeal.

Associated Press

2 fatally shot on E. 25th St.

Two men were fatally shot yesterday evening on a street in Northeast Baltimore and died within minutes of each other at Johns Hopkins Hospital -- one of them apparently driven there and left outside in a vehicle, police said.

At 7:53 p.m., Eastern District officers responding to a report of a man being shot in the 1600 block of E. 25th St. near Harford Road found a victim on the ground, bleeding from multiple wounds, said Agent Donny Moses, a police spokesman.

The man was taken by ambulance to the Johns Hopkins Hospital emergency room, and died shortly after 9 p.m., Moses said.

Less than 10 minutes after he arrived at the hospital, Hopkins security officers making their rounds observed a man sitting in a car on a nearby street with what appeared to be a bullet wound to the face. He was rushed into the emergency room and died a short time later, Moses said.

Police said the second victim had been driven to the hospital from the 1600 block of E. 25th St., and left in the vehicle. The owner was being sought late last night.

Moses said the man's wound was too severe for him to have driven himself to the hospital.

Several witnesses were being questioned, police said. Identities of the victims were not released.

Richard Irwin

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